Monday, October 23, 2006

Rockets, space elevators aim at X Prize Cup

From Cnet:
The Rocket Racing League unveiled Friday its new Mark-1 X-Racer named Thunderhawk, a moniker that was chosen from a 1,000-entry contest sponsored by AOL. The X-Racer will be the de facto vehicle competing in the league's new NASCAR-inspired rocket-racing events, scheduled to tour around the country beginning next year. So far, the RRL has one official team, the "Leading Edge," but it plans to have several teams in place when the games begin.

The X-Racer is 20 feet long, 8 feet tall and weighs 3,000 pounds. It has a LOX/kerosene propulsion system with maximum speeds of 320 mph. It lands horizontally.

Dag "Dagger" Grantham, the chief operating officer of the Leading Edge, said that, all in all, it will cost the team between $3 million and $5 million to operate over the next three years, in addition to the $1.2 million price tag for the X-Racer and ground support. But Grantham is busy looking for title sponsors. If NASCAR is any indication, the team shouldn't have a problem.

Credit: Stefanie Olsen/CNET

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